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Josh Donaldson beats Mike Trout to win 2015 AL MVP

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Donaldson thrived in his first season with the Toronto Blue Jays and on Thursday was announced as the 2015 American League Most Valuable Player, as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Donaldson captured 23 of 30 first-place votes, beating out Angels superstar outfielder Mike Trout, who got seven first-place votes. Lorenzo Cain of the Kansas City Royals finished third.

Donaldson, traded from Oakland last offseason, hit .297/.371/.568 with 41 doubles and 41 home runs in his first season in Toronto. Donaldson led the American League with 122 runs and 123 RBI, mostly hitting second for the best offense in baseball and the American League East champions, all while playing stellar defense at third base.

He is the first Blue Jays player to win MVP since George Bell in 1987.

Trout hit .299/.402/.590 with 41 home runs and 92 walks for the Angels. He led the American League in slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+ (176), wOBA (.415) and wRC+ (172). Trout also led Donaldson in Wins Above Replacement, both the Baseball-Reference version (9.4 to 8.7) and the FanGraphs version (9.0 to 8.7).

Trout's first four full seasons are unprecedented in major league history, finishing second in AL MVP voting in 2012, 2013 and 2015 and winning the award in 2014.

Donaldson also won the 2015 Hank Aaron Award, presented during the World Series to the top offensive player in the American League.